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Thank You, Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho
HANOVER, GERMANY - JUNE 19: A rear view of Ronaldinho of Brazil during the FIFA Confederations Cup Match between Mexico and Brazil held at The AWD Arena on June 19, 2005 in Hanover, Germany. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

You didn’t have to be Brazilian to love Ronaldinho. His elegance on the pitch was hard to ignore, in fact, you could say it was simply captivating. After a magical 20-year career, Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira has announced his official retirement from the beautiful game.

He was first seen down in Brazil with Grêmio from 1998-2001 where he caught a lot of attention with club and country. During those years, Ronaldinho saw a lot of success, even at a young age. In 1999, he had one of the busiest years any footballer has ever had. Representing his country, Ronaldinho claimed third at the U-20 South American championship, first at the Copa América, and runner-up to Mexico at the Confederations Cup. Also, Ronaldinho didn’t just represent his country…no. The magician managed to score 7 goals in 13 appearances with the senior team at 19-years-old.

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Being able to push Brazil to such heights at a young age caught the attention of Paris Saint-Germain where he signed on the dotted line for the French club in 2001. After the 2003 season, which included putting away 25 goals in 86 appearances, it was Spanish powerhouse in Barcelona who came to request his services. From here, the large majority of football fans know how and why Ronaldinho was known as a magician.

Ronaldinho was a freak of nature on the pitch for Barcelona. Stopping the Brazilian No.10 was near impossible, and his ability to take over a game came too easy. Whether it was a curling free-kick or a splicing of a top-tier defense, Ronaldinho was able to get opposing fans to applaud his brilliance.

I could go on and on describing the mind-blowing game of Ronaldinho, but instead, I’ll just list his achievements…and there is a lot.

Club

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  • PSG: UEFA Intertoto Cup (2001)
  • Barcelona: La Liga (2004-05, 2005-06), Supercopa de España (2005, 2006), UEFA Champions League (2005-06)
  • AC Milan: Serie A (2010-11)
  • Atlérico Mineiro: Copa Libertadores (2013), Recopa Sudamericana (2014)

Country

  • FIFA U-17 World Cup (1997)
  • Copa América (1999)
  • FIFA World Cup (2002)
  • FIFA Confederations Cup (2005)

Individual

  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball, Golden Shoe (1999)
  • South American Team of the Year (1999)
  • Bola de Prata (2000, 2011, 2012)
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2002)
  • Onze de Bronze (2002, 2004)
  • Ligue 1 Goal of the Year (2003)
  • La Liga Best Foreign Player (2003-04, 2005-06)
  • Trofeo EFE (2003-04)
  • FIFA World Player of the Year (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year (2004-05)
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Bronze Ball (2005)
  • Ballon d’Or (2005)
  • Onze d’Or (2005)
  • FIFPro World Player of the Year (2005, 2006)
  • FIFPro World XI (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • La Liga Top Assists (2005-06)
  • UEFA CL Top Assists (2005-06)
  • FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball (2006)
  • Onze d’Argent (2006)
  • FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze award (2006)
  • Golden Foot (2009)
  • Bola de Ouro (2012)
  • Copa Libertadores Top assists (2013)
  • FIFA 100
  • Brazilian Football Hall of Fame
  • AC Milan Hall of fame
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There are more achievements that Ronaldinho was recognized for, but you can see how special a player he really was. It truly did not matter what country or club you cheered for, Ronaldinho was lovable in the eyes of nearly all fans. I consider myself one of those fans who credit Ronaldinho for reigniting my love of the game back in 2006. Although I wasn’t a fan of Brazil or Barcelona, being able to watch him play was pure enjoyment, so for that…

Thank You, Ronaldinho

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